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Editorial: Maggio should step down now

Posted: March 8, 2014 - 5:07pm

It surprised no one that following a week of turmoil, Circuit Judge Mike Maggio pulled out of the race for the Arkansas Court of Appeals. What does surprise us, however, is why Maggio is still sitting in his current seat.

Maybe it’s not that surprising. In the statement given by Maggio announcing his intention to drop out of the May election, he cites a “lapse in personal judgement,” but quickly followed it up blaming the “politics of personal destruction” for his decision. That’s code for “if they didn’t catch me, you guys would still think I was awesome.”

Let’s sum up how Maggio did get caught. The judge was outed making comments that were highly offensive to homosexuals, women and minorities on an LSU fan message board under the pseudonym “geauxjudge.” Maggio also acknowledged that he revealed information of an adoption proceeding in Faulkner County involving actress Charlize Theron. Rule No. 1 is that all adoptions are to remain confidential and kept from public viewing.

The comments, which may have numbered in the hundreds, were quickly deleted, but not before state blogger Matt Campbell connected the dots and posted his findings. This was quickly followed by the beginning of an investigation by the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission. That, in turn, was followed by Maggio stating no knowledge of an investigation and then a sort-of mea culpa in his most recent statement.

Maggio said, “The comments posted were not acceptable. These comments are not a reflection of who I am.” Here’s the thing, Mike, they are exactly a reflection of who you are. They may not be the complete picture, but this wasn’t a hastily written one-off. These were at least dozens of comments given by someone who is supposed to command the respect of those who placed him in that position.

More than our other elected offices, judges hold places of honor, because they maintain order without theatrics, objectivity in the face of politically charged winds and the ability to do what is in the best interest for all parties involved. When we stand before a judge, in whatever circumstance, we instantly should be respectful, but we should also feel safe. We should know that this person will use the law for good. And we should know that judges will extend their behavior beyond the courtroom.

This isn’t the first time Maggio has breached ethics in his position. He previously took campaign funds and used them for personal income in 2008. But this is a bigger problem because it calls into question how he approaches his job.

The Commission certainly has the power to remove him from the bench following its investigation. There is also the possibility of not allowing him to run for a judgeship again.

But after constantly doing the wrong thing, Maggio should do the right thing and step down now. That could also be a reflection of who he is.

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mikeng1994
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mikeng1994 03/10/14 - 05:49 am
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You were right on until you

You were right on until you brought up "white guy". There are people like Maggio of ever color. Obama is the first that comes to mind. You are correct tho, he should step down immediately.

lachowsj
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lachowsj 03/10/14 - 06:53 am
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You were right until you

fdsj..., I thought the same thing. You were right until you brought up "white boy." I'm not sure how much race had to do with the decisions he made.

Mike, you were right until you brought up Obama. Until you have evidence of similar wrongdoing on his part, he should not be drug into this.

Both of you are right that Maggio should step down voluntarily. And I think he will when he sees the consequences of not doing so, being kicked off involuntarily and possibly losing the ability to practice law.

mikeng1994
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mikeng1994 03/11/14 - 11:00 am
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I base my statement on the

I base my statement on the executive decisions he has signed. Sure every president has signed them, and I feel it is no less of an abuse regardless of who is president. It''s just Obama is the first of color to do so, which was my point. I was not specifically saying he was the only one. Jesse Jackson Jr. is another who abused his position for gain.

All they are is a legal way for the president to get something done that probably will stall out in congress.

crypted quill
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crypted quill 03/10/14 - 08:06 am
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Two wrongs and a right!

Two wrongs and a right!

Citizen of Conway
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Citizen of Conway 03/10/14 - 08:39 am
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One More Opinion

I haven't read his annonymous postings but apparently he considered them to be bad enough not to run for a different judgeship. If he shouldn't run for another one, then he should resign this one.

As for Obama, those who still blindly follow remind me an abused spouse who thinks if they just stay in a relationship a little longer, things will get better. If Obama's blatant lies don't turn folks off, they deserve what they get. Problem is, the rest of us have to take it as well.

Come on November!!!!!!!

357
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357 03/10/14 - 09:23 am
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How is an anonymous opinion

How is an anonymous opinion on a blog considered an 'editorial'??? Come on LCD, isn't that what the forum is for.

Igor Rabinowitz
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Igor Rabinowitz 03/10/14 - 11:04 am
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Actually

That's exactly what an editorial is, and represents the stance of the paper as an institution. That's why editorials aren't signed. Columns are signed as they represent only the opinion of the author.

Also, props to the posters for getting race and Obama in the first few comments. This may be a personal best.

Zweck
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Zweck 03/10/14 - 09:59 am
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I agree with the editorial

Couple hundred remarks, with dozens of ones pointing to just disgusting feelings on people who need a judge to be impartial the most. I am not from Arkansas but I live here, I like it here and the people have been really good to this judge. It became clear with setting aside the Jury award of 5 million (It wasn't like the McD's judgement of 150 million) that Maggio is in business for Maggio. Taking campaign contributions after that from a group he benefited may be legal but it wasn't right. He should have rejected and returned that money without touching the check.

I do want to say that Judge Reynolds two years ago did a fair and great job with an issue I had to deal with. I've seen many times in the paper or personally heard where a judge does the right thing. Judges are held to a higher standard because we ask them to sit in judgement for all of us. Maggio's views don't align with this community, hence he must step down immediately.

richweav
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richweav 03/10/14 - 10:39 am
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Hold that Tiger!

It really breaks my heart to see an LSU fan in peril. Oh, the humanity!

sylviat
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sylviat 03/10/14 - 12:23 pm
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Step down now

Maggio needs to step down NOW. Speech like that should get him disbarred too. Is anyone starting the proceedings on that? I would like to help.

...and the OB/GYN who likes to talk about seeing a bass boat every time he performs pap smears on the women of Conway should consider stepping down too. Any guesses on who it is?

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